Smoked Spam Burnt Ends on a Pellet Grill [Traeger, Pit Boss, Z Grills]

Every once in a while you have to go out of your comfort zone and try something new.  At least that is what I was telling myself as I grabbed a can of Spam off of the grocery shelf and tossed it in my cart.

I knew that I had to try smoking Spam at least once and figured that while I was at it that I might as well go all in and use it to make a batch of “burnt ends”.

Low Sodium Spam

If you want to make a batch of Smoked Spam Burnt Ends then follow along because it turns out that they are easy to make and pretty tasty as well!

Prepare the Spam for the Smoker

Regular Spam is way to salty for my tastes so I started with a the Low Sodium version.

Cubing up the Spam is pretty easy.

  • Cut the Spam into four quarters from top to bottom.
  • Cut the quarters into thirds form side to side.
  • Cut the resulting 12 strips in half.

This will give you 24 cubes that are about 1/2 inch wide.

24 Cubes of Spam

Next up you want to add a dry rub.  Since this is a pork product I went with a “Sweet Heat” profile.

Even though this is the Low Sodium version there is still plenty of salt in the meat so you need to use a rub with little or no salt.  Here is the rub that I used:

No Sodium Dry Rub for Smoked Spam

  • 4 tbls turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbls smoked paprika
  • 1 tbls chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion

The Spam is already pretty tacky so I didn’t need to use a binder. (You can use the same rub if you want to make a batch of Hot Dog Burnt Ends).

I placed the cubes into a disposable aluminum pan, hit them with the dry rub and tossed to coat.  I added the rub in portions and was impressed with how much rub the meat cubes soaked up!

Spam Seasoned with Dry Rub

Smoke the Spam

Since the Spam is a fully cooked, ready to eat product all we are doing in the smoker is adding layers of flavors.  However, I like to add the layers in a couple of steps.

Add a Smoke Flavor Layer

The first thing we are going to do is add some smoke flavor to the burnt ends.

Turn on your pellet grill and, if you are cooking on a Pit Boss or Z Grills, dial it over to the Smoke setting.  If you are cooking on a Traeger that doesn’t have a Smoke setting just dial it to the lowest temperature available.

I was using hickory pellets for this cook but if you wanted to go milder with some apple or maple then I am sure that would work as well.  If you wanted to add more smoke then you could light a Smoke Tube with additional pellets and place it at grate level.

Place the pan of seasoned cubes onto the cooking grate and let them soak up the smoke for 30 minutes.

Set the Rub

After the cubes have soaked up smoke for 30 minutes it is time to raise the temperature of your pellet grill so the rub will set and form a crust/bark.

You need to get the rub to set or it will wash off when we add the sauce later on.

Raise the temperature of your pellet grill to 250F and let the Spam smoke for 60-90 minutes until the rub has set and formed a nice crust.  The temperature is not critical in this step and you could go with 300F for 30-45 minutes if you wanted.

After Smoking for 90 Minutes

Add the Sauce and Simmer

After the rub sets it is time to add some sauce to the pan.  The flavor notes I wanted were Sweet and Rich with a kick of Heat.  The mix I came up with was:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup Salt Lick’s Honey Pecan BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tbls honey
  • 1 tbls Siracha

Add the sauce to the pan, coat the cubes well and smoke for another 60-90minutes until the sauce thickens.

Spam in BBQ Sauce

Plate and Serve!

The burnt ends are ready whenever the sauce has thickened up to you liking.  I went a little too log in the sauce and ended up washing off some of the rub that hadn’t fully set.  That’s okay though as the flavors from the rub were just mixed in with the delicious sauce!

The burnt ends were incredibly tender and it was a delight experiencing each layer of flavor.  There are enough flavors and colors going on here that it is not obvious to someone that they are eating Spam.

Place a pile of toothpicks beside these “burnt ends” and you will be amazed at how fast a crowd will tear through them.

Smoked Spam Burnt Ends

Smoked Spam Burnt Ends

Smoked Spam Burnt Ends

Low Sodium Spam is cubed, seasoned with a dry rub then smoked and sauced to make "Burnt Ends".
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 475 kcal

Equipment

  • Pellet Grill (Trager, Pit Boss, Z Grills)

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces Low Sodium Spam
  • Dry Rub
  • 4 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • Sauce
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce Salt Lick's Honey Pecan
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Siracha hot sauce

Instructions
 

  • Cut the spam into 24 cubes with widths of about 1/2 inch
  • Place the cubes into a foil pan, add the dry rub in portions and toss to coat.
  • Set your pellet grill to the Smoke Setting or use the lowest temperature available.
  • Smoke the Spam for 30 minutes.
  • Raise the temperature of your pellet grill to 250-300F and smoke for about another hour until the rub has set and formed a crust.
  • Add the sauce to the foil pan and coat the cubes well.
  • Smoke for another hour or until the sauce has thickened to your preference.

Notes

If you are having a crowd come over for Game Day then you can easily double the recipe. 
These burnt ends are easy to prepare and indulging in a pile of Spam is a delightful guilty pleasure! 
Keyword Smoked Spam Burnt Ends